IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 28 January
French firm takes Openhydro stake | LinkedIn files for IPO
The Irish Times reports that a prosecution is expected against a company allegedly involved in making thousands of scam phone calls in attempts to steal financial and other personal information. The Data Protection Commissioner's office confirmed it had identified links in Ireland to a company based abroad that cold-calls people on the pretext the calls are from Microsoft. Microsoft Ireland confirmed it was receiving about 100 calls a month from people who had been scammed, leading it to believe the total number of calls to be in the thousands. The DPC said the number of calls may be as high as 300,000.
The paper also notes that most disadvantaged schools surveyed by the Department of Education have failed to show any improvement in numeracy standards, according to a teaching conference. In the study, the Department looked at schools' action plan, tracked the way targets were set and then looked at how the schools monitored and evaluated their own outcomes. Dr Harold Hislop, the department's chief inspector, said the department had completed over 400 unannounced or incidental inspections last year.
The paper also notes that a tax on online betting will be introduced for the first time under the Finance Bill, and online bookmakers will have to pay a licence fee to operate in Ireland.
The paper also reports that a French naval submarine and nuclear technology group has paid EUR14 million for a stake in Irish tidal energy developer Openhydro. The Irish firm, which designs and manufactures turbines for converting tidal power to electricity, said that DCNS, a French state-owned specialist in naval defence and nuclear energy systems, is taking an 8 percent stake in Openhydro for EUR14 million. The deal values Openhydro at EUR175 million.
The same paper says that O2 Ireland has no plans to follow its British counterpart in rolling out a free Wi-Fi network across the country. Earlier this week O2 UK announced plans to create a wireless network that could be freely accessed by all users. O2 Ireland said it would instead focus on improving its 3G network, as this is where it expects consumer demand to remain in the years ahead.
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The paper also notes that Easytrip, an electronic tolling services firm, plans to turn technology developed for managing taxi queues at Dublin airport into a product it can sell internationally. The Dublin Airport Authority has deployed the taxi management system at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. "Up to now, we've been a domestically oriented company but we would see an opportunity to turn this technology into a product and look for international opportunities with it," said Easytrip chief executive Dermot MacEvilly.
The paper also notes that Japanese camera and copier giant Canon has forecast a 21 percent rise in operating profit for 2011, roughly in line with market expectations. The company expects JPY470 billion (EUR4.17 billion) in operating profit for the year ending in December, against the average analyst estimate of JPY472.5 billion. It projects sales to rise 10.6 percent to JPY4.1 trillion.
The Irish Independent reports on the launch of 'Visceral' at the Science Gallery, an exhibition of living art that erodes the traditional boundaries between art and science. The show includes items such as tiny books crafted from human skin, a microscopic movie projected on to a backdrop of a fish's eye, and the intricate sculpting of a person's sleep pattern.
The Irish Examiner says that Irish-owned Meetingsbooker.com expects revenues to jump to EUR6 million this year. In the last quarter of 2010, the company generated revenues of EUR1.4 million. Meetingsbooker.com is a web-based service that gives meeting and event planners access to 12,000 hotels and venues around the world.
The Financial Times reports that business network LinkedIn has filed registration documents for an initial public offering that could raise USD175 million. The LinkedIn prospectus said the company’s revenue doubled in the first nine months of 2010 from the same period a year earlier, to USD161 million, though it expects that rate of increase to slow. It reported USD1.9 million in profit attributable to common shareholders during that period and said it did not expect to be profitable in 2011 on a GAAP basis. LinkedIn earns money from premium subscriptions, recruiting deals and marketing.